Saturday, January 2, 2010

Year end post.

I have been wanting to write a year/ season ending post for some time but have been having some trouble wrapping my head around just what to talk about.

First I think was great it was to see the larger food culture continue to move twords the fresh, local and organic. From going to see movies like Fresh and Food inc. to the increasing availability of food events like Tour de farm and Gastro non grata it was great to be involved in a the trend to a more sustainable and healthy food culture. We were also able to attend events with Slow Food Minnesota and Simple, Good and Tasty as well. We even held our own fall harvest festival.

We expanded the garden to include a new satellite garden by the chickens for the growing of some of thier food and three additional beds in the main garden. We grew pole beans for the first time, though our trellis design still needs work. We grew our own cabbage and carrots this year successfully. We learned that kale can be biannual at least in our climate. We also had challenges with cucumbers and parsnips and got our squash and pumpkins in too late.

The orchard gave us our first ever apricots and also plums galore. We planted our first nut bushes and along with some red currants and high bush cranberry.

We insulated the house and had the siding upgraded to improve our home energy efficiency. It is too soon to be able to tell just how much difference this will make but so far it looks to be a significant improvement. We also have made our pole barn a more useful and productive place.

We foraged for walnuts to make nocino and managed to put a few birds and some deer meat in the freezer from hunting. We also foraged for nettles to make nettle beer and ferns for the spring table.

Well I guess that was really quite a great deal to do in one year. I am already thinking about what we will need to get done next year but I will save that for another post.


Mr. H. said...

I'm curious as to what type of foods you will be growing for the chickens, that is something we are still struggling with ourselves? It sounds like you have a very busy and rewarding year.

Frustrated Farmer Rick said...

We grew them a mix of crops this year as this was mostly a proof of concept run. We grew them pea shoots, kale and pumpkins. Probably the most successful was the pumpkin. In prior years we grew them amaranth which they didn't seem to care for. This year I am thinking of growing some purple millet to feed them in the off season.

Mr. H. said...

Growing pumpkins or any prolific squash for the chickens is a great idea that I will have to keep in mind for this next season. Spagetti squash might be a good one as I can store it for them as well...Thanks so much.